I slept horribly last night because I was afraid of oversleeping and turning in my car late and getting a penalty fee. I was on the road by 8:15 in order to get the car to the airport by 9am. My tank still said full as I was one block from the car return and then it dropped one notch! Now I had to get gas. I hadn’t passed any stations on my way there or I would have topped off then, so I drove past the entrance and found a station down the road about 1/2 mile. I filled the car (alltold I spent about 60 euro for gasoline, not bad for about 900km driving in 6 days) and headed back to the drop off spot, but couldn’t turn it from that direction.
Frustrated, I kept going straight until I got to the M1 airport roundabout and headed back to the drop off spot. When I got there I turned in but saw a sign that said rental return with an arrow pointing across the street, so I turned out and went on the road again. I looked at my return instructions, couldn’t find any clue of it being across the street turned into another place to head back, but again I couldn’t turn into it from that directions so I went left in the hopes that i could turn around up there. WRONG! I headed into the airport and couldn’t find any rental return place and didn’t know how to get out. Finally I saw a sign that said “way out” with an arrow… needless to say I followed it. By this time it was now 9:15… not much time to get there without a penalty. The way out took me to the M1 airport roundabout AGAIN which I took and decided to just go where my paper said even if it was wrong. It was right! I got my fuel deposit refunded and hopped on a shuttle bus within 1 minute of surrendering my car. Alls well that ends well:)
Overall I enjoyed driving, however sometimes it was a bit stressful, like this morning and yesterday afternoon. I am glad I don’t have to park it anymore and I don’t have to worry about scratching it or puncturing a tire or any of the other things I could do to a car. I am looking forward to taking public transportation from here on out.
My first venture was with the patton Flyer from the airport to the town of Dun Laoghaire (6 miles south of Dublin). Dun Laoghaire is a nice town, quieter than Dublin, but very close and easy to get to. Just take the DART (think high speed line) and you’re there. It’s cheap and easy and quick.
I decided to give up B&B’s and stay in a hotel for the rest of my stay. So I am at the Royal Marine Hotel (www.royalmarine.ie) it’s a really nice place. The patton Flyer drops off/picks up in the front of the hotel every hour so it was convenient to get here and it’ll be even more convenient to leave for the airport at 5:10 in the morning next Wednesday. Just walk out the front door and wait for the bus.
Nice place, huh? I booked it through Expedia.com yesterday for a reduced rate. Normally it’s about 150 euro a night (give or take) and I got it for about 60 euro a night. I’m ok with that. My room is very nice; it has fridge, tea making stuff, internet, flatscreen tv, big bathroom with shower and tub, windows that open for fresh air, leather arm chairs and room safe. Totally different from where I’ve been staying but very comfortable.
The town is very cute. I find it hard to compare these towns to American towns, because the style is so different. They look so different because even the smallest villages have somewhere to eat and drink and have shops to serve all your needs.
Well, I’ll be getting laundry done tomorrow; it’s long overdue. I’m going to take a nice hot bath and relax for the night (I know it’s relatively early, but I’m still tired from lack of sleep last night and the stress of this morning). Tomorrow on to Dublin!